aeschines



aeschines defined in 1939 year

aeschines - Aeschines (389-314 b.c.);
aeschines - Athenian orator and statesman. After serving with distinction at the battle of Tamyuae (c. 350 b.c. ) against Callias, tyrant of Calchis, he became a government clerk, then an actor, and later a clerk again. Entering politics, at that time dominated by the Macedonian menace, he soon won prominence by his eloquence.

Aeschines was a member of several embassies to Philip of Macedon, and he probably succumbed to bribery, for he became leader of the party which urged the futility of resistance. Demosthenes’ did not hesitate to accuse him of corrupt motives. After the Macedonian victory at Chaeronea (338), Ctesiphon, a friend of Demosthenes, proposed that a golden crown be given to Demosthenes for his services to the state. Aeschines, in 330, prosecuted Ctesiphon on technical grounds. Demosthenes' speech for the defence (De Corona, on the Crown), in which he justified his whole anti-Macedonian policy, was a masterpiece, and the verdict went against Aesehines, who retired into exile. Though he had not the education of his great opponent, Aeschines had probably more natural eloquence, and in the judgement of antiquity his oratory was second only to that of his rival.

His three extant speeches are said to have been called the Three Graces. Consult Attic Orators, R. C. Jebb, 1876.

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